Extra, Extra, Extra, Donald J. Trump Criminally Charged

April 1, 2023 Off By Michael

On Multiple Counts In New York Indictment

Photo from court pleadings in a criminal case against Donald J. Trump in New York City

Extra, Extra, Extra, read all about it! Donald John Trump, the twice impeached former President of the United States of America, is charged in a multiple-count New York indictment. Charges against Trump are the first for a former American President.

In 1975, a sitting American President, Richard Milhous Nixon, came close to an indictment for his involvement in the burglary of the Democratic National Committee’s office in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, District of Columbia. Instead, Nixon beat the justice department to the jump when he resigned from office in disgrace.

Never in nearly 250 years has the country been in this quandary. 

Can democracy survive? Has America finally reached the pinnacle of its success? Will Trump rally the MAGAs again in a violent revolution against the rule of law that dares to charge the darling of the right with violating the Criminal Code of the State of New York?

District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed the indictment under seal, and it will remain locked until Trump surrenders to the New York Police Department. Expect him to do so in a few days. He will go through the booking process, which includes fingerprinting and photographing his mug. Then he will appear before a judge to decide if he will be released pending trial or spend some time in the Rikers Island Correctional facility.

When a judge decides on a bond, the determining factors are whether the criminal defendant is a threat to commit additional crimes while out on bond and whether the accused is a risk to flee the court’s jurisdiction.

The State of New York can argue that Trump is a threat to commit additional crimes like inciting a riot. They can cite Trump’s recent rant encouraging “death and destruction” and employing his followers to “take the country back” by protesting his arrest. The court must look no further than Trump’s speech on the Ellipse on January 6, 2021, when he urged followers “To fight like hell” to take the country back. Following that fiery speech, a mob of Trump followers descended on Congress, and death and destruction followed in their wake.

Next, the State can urge the court to block Trump’s release on bond because he is a flight risk. Trump can counter this argument by agreeing to turn his passport over to authorities. The FBI seized his passport in the Mar-a- Lago raid earlier this year, but the FBI returned it because the justice department did not have a legal basis to retain control of it.

However, the State can claim that Trump has a private plane. He could pack up and leave the USA at any time without the necessity of presenting a passport when he leaves the country. The prospect of escaping prosecution looms large, especially since he will likely face future charges for theft of American secrets and unlawful interference and attempts to influence the election results in Georgia.

Albeit it, to hold a former American President without bond is as unprecedented as the indictment of a former President. But precedents like records in sporting events are made to be broken.

To treat Trump otherwise would be to treat him differently from the ordinary criminally accused in this country who go through this process daily without the enormous resources or prestige of Trump. Moreover, the question of “cuffs” or “no cuffs” should not be Trump’s choice. He should be handcuffed like any pre-arraigned criminal defendant, period.

If Trump’s indictment gives meaning to the premise that “no one is above the law,” then no one should be above the procedures of the law, including former Presidents with a penchant for avoiding the consequences of law and procedural rules.

Harold Michael Harvey is the Living Now 2020 Bronze Medal winner for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is the author of a book on Negro Leagues Baseball, The Duke of 18th & Vine: Bob Kendrick Pitches Negro Leagues Baseball. He writes feature stories for Black College Nines. Com. Harvey is a member of the Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, HBCU and PRO Sports Media Association, and the Legends Committee for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. Harvey is an engaging speaker. Contact Harvey at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com.